Rand Paul: Let’s face it, it’s going to be difficult to repeal ObamaCare at this point

posted at 3:21 pm on April 28, 2014 by Allahpundit

Interestingly, it’s Cathy McMorris-Rodgers’s comments about “reforming” rather than repealing the O-Care exchanges that drew most of the blog chatter this weekend, not Rand’s equally eyebrow-raising remarks at Harvard on Friday. Is that because McMorris-Rodgers is guilty of a double heresy, having forecast a new amnesty push this summer too? Or is it because Paul’s conservative bona fides are still in good standing whereas no one trusts the House leadership on anything anymore, starting with ObamaCare? Whatever the reason, McMorris-Rodgers issued a statement this morning aimed at the gullible optimists among us insisting that she’s on Team Repeal all the way. Whew.

What about Rand, though? I can’t find video or a transcript of what he said in Cambridge; National Review says that he reiterated his strong opposition to ObamaCare but was fatalistic about repealing it — in the near-term at least. The Hill’s account makes it sound like his time horizon was longer than that, though:

“I think it’s going to be difficult to turn the clock back. People get assumed and accustomed to receiving things, particularly things that they get for free,” he told a crowd of students at Harvard’s Institute of Politics on Friday…

“I think one of the practical things you might be able to do, and I think the public at large might accept this, is to make ObamaCare voluntary. You make it voluntary, basically you get rid of the coercion,” he said, presumably by eliminating the penalty those without insurance are required to pay, known as the individual mandate.

He said he may keep some parts of the law, like the subsidies to help poor Americans afford insurance, or the Medicaid expansion — two of ObamaCare’s more popular provisions but potentially its more expensive.

“Does that get rid of the subsidies? Not necessarily, or the Medicaid. But I think also we’re going to find out we can’t afford to have everybody on Medicaid, we can’t afford to have everybody on subsidized insurance,” Paul said.

Alternate headline: “Ted Cruz’s ad team pulls all-nighter” — which would be ironic, since Paul’s logic here about the difficulty of weaning people off subsidies once they’ve begun is the same as Cruz’s was back in October in pushing the “defund” effort (which Paul tepidly supported). All Rand’s saying, really, is that repeal becomes much harder once a program’s in place and people have come to rely on it. Cruz couldn’t agree more, I assume, which is not to say he won’t have lots of fun punishing Paul for his “defeatism” in the primaries.

In a sense, all he’s giving you here is the ObamaCare version of his straight talk on abortion with David Axelrod. America’s not going to change its abortion laws, he said, because there isn’t enough consensus to do so. There may be enough consensus to draw a firm legal line at third-trimester abortions but there certainly isn’t a consensus for an all-out ban like social cons want. The trick for voters is deciding how much of that statement is descriptive and how much is prescriptive. How much political capital would President Paul devote to shaping a consensus on abortion? How much would he devote to shaping a consensus on ObamaCare’s repeal? The first requirement of a tea-party champion is that he resist establishment conventional wisdom and fight for his principles, even if he’s all but guaranteed to lose. It was Cruz’s insight that he could win politically that way by leading on “defund” even though he was destined to lose on the merits. I don’t know why, frankly, Paul would leave himself open to attacks from Cruz on that point by taking these quasi-fatalistic views about hot-button conservative issues. Presumably it’s because his top priority is showing the establishment that he can play nice, and hinting that he wouldn’t rock the boat terribly much on abortion and, especially, ObamaCare is one way to do that. But he’s got to get through the primaries first. Why make things easier on Cruz?

As for the merits, I don’t think repealing the mandate would do much to weaken the overall law at this point. It would be a moral victory insofar as it jettisoned the most overtly coercive element of O-Care, the one that got away at the Supreme Court two years ago, but yanking it out of the ObamaCare jenga tower now wouldn’t topple the whole structure. That might have happened if the Court had struck it down before the exchanges launched; without the mandate in place scaring twentysomethings into buying insurance this year, the risk pools might have been overloaded with the old and sick, premiums might have shot up in 2015, and suddenly we’re in death-spiral country. As it is, they’ve got somewhere between six million and eight million paying customers enrolled, roughly 28 percent of whom are “young invincibles.” That’s well short of their target of 39 percent last year but enough that premiums aren’t expected to skyrocket next year to make up for missing revenue. But even if the mandate had been nullified by the Supremes, that still might not have nuked O-Care; remember, for all intents and purposes, the mandate has already been repealed. It’s basically hortatory, a nudge to adults (especially young adults) to sign up but not something that’s being seriously enforced. It was the White House PR outreach to twentysomethings that did most of the work in getting them to sign up, I think, not the mandate. In which case, what’s really achieved at this point by getting rid of it?

Exit question: If we drop the mandate and keep the exchanges and the subsidies and the Medicaid expansion, as Paul envisions, then we’re basically adopting O-Care, right?


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Comment pages: 1 4 5 6

No Schadenfreude for me in that.

Bmore on April 28, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Wow, you really are some kind of a moron in her eyes. But at least you have a lot of company. She reminds me of Obama.

Cindy Munford on April 28, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Cindy, perhaps this is a generational thing, but you really need to stop making comments about me and obsessing over me. I ignore all your comments, you don’t need to do mine but stick to the issues. It’s getting creepy. Don’t try to contact me out of here again. Talk to someone in your family or congregation maybe, but please, please, stop obsessing over me and behaving like a creeper. Just ignore the comments that are signed by me and move on.

joana on April 28, 2014 at 11:08 PM

joana on April 28, 2014 at 11:08 PM

I’ll say anything I want about any subject, you ignore me.

Cindy Munford on April 28, 2014 at 11:09 PM

Either way Rand is doing some serious unforced error stuff as of late. Very disappointing.

Bmore on April 28, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Looks like he has thrown his hat in the ring with the oligarchs, which is totally queer given his pedigree.

Maybe the NSA and TPTB passed him a copy of his file and he acquiesced.

Murphy9 on April 28, 2014 at 11:10 PM

I ignore all your comments…

joana on April 28, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Especially all the ones you respond to.

LMFAO

Murphy9 on April 28, 2014 at 11:11 PM

Are they all RINOs? Damn sick and tired of these frauds. We need a formal Tea Party. ………….

nobama1267 on April 28, 2014 at 11:12 PM

What we need is a country of individuals with integrity and character.

The moral relativistic swamp Reavers, like the party slave masters commenting here, are destroying every institution at a pace I didn’t think was possible. It’s all over but the suffering, unless we receive an extra dispensation of grace.

Murphy9 on April 28, 2014 at 11:15 PM

I’ll say anything I want about any subject, you ignore me.

Cindy Munford on April 28, 2014 at 11:09 PM

If you can’t show the common decency to accept a request to avoid constant, endless and burdensome personal comments about other person and stalking, it’s probably because you don’t have it. You’re an internet bully and proud of it. Again, your stalking keeps going beyond the comments here and the issues becomes one for the judiciary. It’s sad it’s come to this, but I guess it’s the only way with creepers like you.

And surely, I’ll ignore you. Too bad you lack the decency to reciprocate.

joana on April 28, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Too bad you lack the decency to reciprocate.

joana on April 28, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Yep, it’s a bummer.

Cindy Munford on April 28, 2014 at 11:23 PM

Cindy, perhaps this is a generational thing, but you really need to stop making comments about me and obsessing over me. I ignore all your comments, you don’t need to do mine but stick to the issues. It’s getting creepy. Don’t try to contact me out of here again. Talk to someone in your family or congregation maybe, but please, please, stop obsessing over me and behaving like a creeper. Just ignore the comments that are signed by me and move on.

Totally psycho on April 28, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Murphy9 on April 28, 2014 at 11:23 PM

joana on April 28, 2014 at 11:20 PM

So which is worse, your insulting the intelligence of every person on Hot Air or me pointing out that you are insulting people on Hot Air? I’ll stop “stalking” you when you stop acting like an ass.

Cindy Munford on April 28, 2014 at 11:29 PM

Reminds me of the pearl clutcher with sand issues.

Bmore on April 28, 2014 at 11:36 PM

And surely, I’ll ignore you. Too bad you lack the decency to reciprocate.

joana on April 28, 2014 at 11:20 PM

I don’t know if anyone has mentioned it or not, but there’s something wrong with you. You might want to have it checked out. Probably no big whoop, but it might be a good idea to have it checked. I mean…what could be wrong with having it checked? I had a wart on the side of my nose once, just like Obama does, waay before I ever heard of Obama, anyways, I had it cut off. Lookin’ back, it was no big whoop and I’m glad I had it checked. Just sayin’ that having something check out, isn’t always a bad thing….check it out..hell, I would.

Mimzey on April 28, 2014 at 11:36 PM

Just ignore the comments that are signed by me and move on.

joana on April 28, 2014 at 11:08 PM

You don’t seem to understand how an internet forum/comments page works. You don’t get to decide the content of other people’s posts.

People simply mentioning your screen name isn’t stalking. ALT was stalked (a poster found out the store she worked at and posted the info). Libfree was stalked (someone realized where he worked and posted a link to his faculty bio). People are simply responding to you because you’re making yourself the topic. That’s not stalking, and it’s not “creepy.”

Good Solid B-Plus on April 28, 2014 at 11:57 PM

You’re an internet bully and proud of it.
joana on April 28, 2014 at 11:20 PM

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Dear lord, that’s just too funny. I might break a rib laughing at the sheer willful blindless/cluelessness of this post.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM

99% of the party agrees with me on this. Even some TruCons do, in case you missed it. And your grandiloquent rhetoric is hardly impressive. Those who actually do legwork for the party don’t go around bragging about it.

joana on April 28, 2014 at 11:05 PM

No, they really don’t. Very few people seem to actually agree with you.

I’m not sure why people lose time throwing personal insults at me…it’s pretty much what defines them and their debating style-

joana on April 28, 2014 at 11:05 PM

I think this stuff is more sophisticated and nuanced that you’re capable of understanding, at least at this stage of your life.

Yeah, you’re apparently too dumb that I’m none of those things.

(Psst…by the way, you meant to say “You’re apparently too dumb *to notice* that I’m none of those things. You know, verbs. They’re useful.

What the single-payer system idiotic defenders are too dumb to understand is that countries like Switzerland can have that sort of system because they free-ride the US health-care system.

Thanks, but I’m not here to proselytize -especially the dimwits- or make friends.

You keep showing an amusing inability to comprehend what I write. Like your namesake, you seem to be losing your grip on reality.

Should I keep going? Seriously, stop making this so easy. I want a challenge, damnit!

Good Solid B-Plus on April 29, 2014 at 12:08 AM

You don’t seem to understand how an internet forum/comments page works. You don’t get to decide the content of other people’s posts.

People simply mentioning your screen name isn’t stalking. ALT was stalked (a poster found out the store she worked at and posted the info). Libfree was stalked (someone realized where he worked and posted a link to his faculty bio). People are simply responding to you because you’re making yourself the topic. That’s not stalking, and it’s not “creepy.”

Good Solid B-Plus on April 28, 2014 at 11:57 PM

I’ve been stalked too. Hence why I’m asking her to stop. If you don’t find a creepy a crazy old woman obsessing over you on the internet, more power to you. I’m disturbed when I see dozens of her posts that aren’t even about anything I write but about me personally – that leaving aside the other stuff for now.

No, they really don’t. Very few people seem to actually agree with you.
Good Solid B-Plus on April 29, 2014 at 12:08 AM

If TruCons at Hot Air were representative of any meaningful group in the party, Romney and McCain would have struggle to get above 2% in any state during the primaries.

Go out, talk to real people in real life instead of Cindy and her dozens of sockpuppets all praising each other comments and you’ll see that even amongst very conservative voters nobody will care about this.

Most people appreciate bluntness and honesty on these issues. They’re tired of those that promise the moon and don’t deliver anything.

joana on April 29, 2014 at 12:16 AM

joana on April 29, 2014 at 12:16 AM

You accused me of lying and attacking you but refused to show even one comment to back up your assertion. Stop being a big baby. You can sure dish it but you don’t want to be called on it. Tough.

Cindy Munford on April 29, 2014 at 12:20 AM

Most people appreciate bluntness and honesty on these issues. They’re tired of those that promise the moon and don’t deliver anything.

joana on April 29, 2014 at 12:16 AM

You aren’t blunt and honest you are rude and dismissive and you are in the position to deliver on anything other than your opinion which is no more and no less valuable than anyone else who comments here.

Cindy Munford on April 29, 2014 at 12:23 AM

Oh and multiple people who have known me for quite a few years are not sock puppets. But I can see how having more than one person agree with you would have to have an explanation.

Cindy Munford on April 29, 2014 at 12:25 AM

joanaHEIFER on April 29, 2014 at 12:16 AM

Murphy9 on April 29, 2014 at 12:27 AM

I’ve been stalked too. Hence why I’m asking her to stop. If you don’t find a creepy a crazy old woman obsessing over you on the internet, more power to you. I’m disturbed when I see dozens of her posts that aren’t even about anything I write but about me personally – that leaving aside the other stuff for now.

No one is writing about you personally for the very simple fact that no one knows (or cares) who you are. “Joana,” the entity that posts on HA, is a very condescending high volume poster who continually insults the vast majority of posters on this site, and you expect people not to respond to you or take issue with your comments? Take the advice you gave me and take a deep breath. No one is stalkiing you. No one cares who you are outside of your presence as text on a screen.

If TruCons at Hot Air were representative of any meaningful group in the party, Romney and McCain would have struggle to get above 2% in any state during the primaries.

Except that a very large contingent of HA posters were Romney fans. And, of course, it was the “crazies” you keep talking abou that were voting for Newt and Santorum and anyone with a pulse to try and beat Romney. If 99% of the party agreed with you, we wouldn’t have had a new frontrunner in the primary every two weeks. If you think only 1% of the GOP distrusts the establishment and is tired of compromise moderate candidates like McCain and Romney, then you’re the one who is refusing to live in the “reality-based world.”

Go out, talk to real people in real life instead of Cindy and her dozens of sockpuppets all praising each other comments and you’ll see that even amongst very conservative voters nobody will care about this.

I do. Most of my friends are liberal or moderate (that’s inevitable living near a university in a very liberal and Jewish area), but I talk to a lot of conservatives. A lot of them voiced similar concerns to your average HA poster. It’s illogical to think that the thousands of posters on HA, people who are much more politically active than your average citizen, are only representative of 1% of the election.

Most people appreciate bluntness and honesty on these issues. They’re tired of those that promise the moon and don’t deliver anything.

How is dismantling Obamacare via a shell game being blunt and honest? At least advocating repeal is an honest plank. And you seem to forget that it’s R and R: repeal and replace. We need a health-care policy of our own if we’re planning on repeal, whether it’s full statutory repeal or the ticky-tack ad hoc piecemeal maiming of the vital parts of the ACA apparatus that you are suggesting.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 29, 2014 at 12:28 AM

No one is writing about you personally for the very simple fact that no one knows (or cares) who you are. “Joana,” the entity that posts on HA, is a very condescending high volume poster who continually insults the vast majority of posters on this site, and you expect people not to respond to you or take issue with your comments? Take the advice you gave me and take a deep breath. No one is stalkiing you. No one cares who you are outside of your presence as text on a screen.

Tell that to the crazy old lady. The site owners are aware of the situation, so I’m not going to expand here.

Except that a very large contingent of HA posters were Romney fans. And, of course, it was the “crazies” you keep talking abou that were voting for Newt and Santorum and anyone with a pulse to try and beat Romney. If 99% of the party agreed with you, we wouldn’t have had a new frontrunner in the primary every two weeks. If you think only 1% of the GOP distrusts the establishment and is tired of compromise moderate candidates like McCain and Romney, then you’re the one who is refusing to live in the “reality-based world.”

Yawn. Strawman. Although I admit I have no idea if you’re being intentionally fallacious or you simply didn’t comprehend what I wrote.

How is dismantling Obamacare via a shell game being blunt and honest? At least advocating repeal is an honest plank. And you seem to forget that it’s R and R: repeal and replace. We need a health-care policy of our own if we’re planning on repeal, whether it’s full statutory repeal or the ticky-tack ad hoc piecemeal maiming of the vital parts of the ACA apparatus that you are suggesting.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 29, 2014 at 12:28 AM

Wow, I though that what I was proposing wasn’t a repeal!

What I’m proposing is exactly what Rand Paul proposed – while saying he still wants and finds desirable a full statutory repeal, something that went over your head because you’re more interested in being angry and shaking your fist in the air than in actually listen to anyone.

joana on April 29, 2014 at 12:36 AM

I look forward to Ed or Allah’s email. Too funny.

Cindy Munford on April 29, 2014 at 12:39 AM

Yawn. Strawman. Although I admit I have no idea if you’re being intentionally fallacious or you simply didn’t comprehend what I wrote.

joana on April 29, 2014 at 12:36 AM

Seriously, I don’t think you actually know what a strawman argument is. You’ve used that phrase like 4 times and it was never germane or applicable.

Oh, and Ed and AP aren’t going to ban Cindy just for talking about you within comment threads (which, BTW, isn’t against the ToS). But nice try. I commend your ability to cry to the admins and act like a martyr.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 29, 2014 at 12:47 AM

I’m not sure why people lose time throwing personal insults at me…it’s pretty much what defines them and their debating style-

joana on April 28, 2014 at 11:05 PM

crazy old lady
joana on April 29, 2014 at 12:36 AM

Should I count how many times you’ve called Cindy a “crazy old lady”? Which one of you is obsessed, exactly?

Good Solid B-Plus on April 29, 2014 at 12:48 AM

It’s already mostly repealed…

sorrowen on April 29, 2014 at 12:50 AM

Looks like someone is a steak and a gentleman caller from the big cray-cray.

RickB on April 29, 2014 at 12:51 AM

Seriously, I don’t think you actually know what a strawman argument is. You’ve used that phrase like 4 times and it was never germane or applicable.

Oh, and Ed and AP aren’t going to ban Cindy just for talking about you within comment threads (which, BTW, isn’t against the ToS). But nice try. I commend your ability to cry to the admins and act like a martyr.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 29, 2014 at 12:47 AM

She isn’t just doing that, but I’ve already asked you to drop the issue. It’s my last comment on this/her.

The strawman is rooted on equating Rand Paul to McCain or Romney because he reckoned it’ll be difficult to fully repeal Obamacare. I didn’t say that 99% of the party wanted another McCain or Romney; I said that 99% of the party couldn’t care less if Rand Paul tactics to repeal Obamacare are this or that. You, on the other hand, replied to me as if I had presented the former argument – one I never did. Hence the strawman.

joana on April 29, 2014 at 12:57 AM

She isn’t just doing that, but I’ve already asked you to drop the issue. It’s my last comment on this/her.

joana on April 29, 2014 at 12:57 AM

Really? What else am I doing?

Cindy Munford on April 29, 2014 at 1:08 AM

She isn’t just doing that, but I’ve already asked you to drop the issue. It’s my last comment on this/her.

Ask all you want. You don’t get to dictate the content of my posts. If you’re going to continue getting the vapors over the abject horror of someone on a message board talking about you (and not the real you, but simply your online persona), I’m going to continue to laugh at you.

The strawman is rooted on equating Rand Paul to McCain or Romney because he reckoned it’ll be difficult to fully repeal Obamacare. I didn’t say that 99% of the party wanted another McCain or Romney; I said that 99% of the party couldn’t care less if Rand Paul tactics to repeal Obamacare are this or that. You, on the other hand, replied to me as if I had presented the former argument – one I never did. Hence the strawman.

joana on April 29, 2014 at 12:57 AM

You said that the only people who cared were the “crazies” who supported Cain and Bachmann, two candidates who both had brief leads in the primary. Many people who supported those two shifted to Perry, Newt and Santorum, three more candidates who had brief leads in the primaries. So, demonstrably, that’s more than “1%” of the GOP electorate.

You also know that this isn’t the only bit of early triangulation/pandering that Rand is doing st the moment. People aren’t abandoning Rand because of one thing, they’re doing so because he’s starting to look like a run of the mill establishment politician, and as Pincher noted in the other thread, if we want an establishment guy, there are better, more polished, more experienced ones who already have better funding operations/relationships with big money donors.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 29, 2014 at 1:10 AM

joana is obviously in need of some serious psychiatric help with heavy meds…

OmahaConservative on April 29, 2014 at 1:19 AM

Rand’s positions seem to be shifting as if guided by political “consultants”.
He loses more credibility every time he opens his mouth. The worst of ACA
is yet to come. It is 25000 pages of rules and regulations that severely
interfere with all aspects of doctor/patient health care and put near total
control in the hands of unelected bureaucrats. Whenever a republican is
stupid enough to say it can’t be repealed and replaced, I know that they
have not taken the time, even now, to study what is actually in the bill. The
structure of the exchanges and mandates are catastrophic. The “essential
benefits” that have caused major increases in premiums are NOT in the
law. They were issued by HHS and can be changed whenever the case is
made for reasonable alternatives. There are millions of women who would love to pay $10/month for birth control pills if they could only get their old policies back. The American people are beginning to understand how expensive “free” stuff is and are eager for reason.

giatny on April 29, 2014 at 1:20 AM

Tell that to the crazy old lady. The site owners are aware of the situation, so I’m not going to expand expound here.

joana on April 29, 2014 at 12:36 AM

FIFY loon…

OmahaConservative on April 29, 2014 at 2:37 AM

Prohibition got repealed. Slavery did too and women got the vote. The dems haven’t given up on reversing Citizens United, but Paul throws in the towel?

He’s an idiot, a LOSER and a jerk.

dogsoldier on April 29, 2014 at 5:38 AM

Either way Rand is doing some serious unforced error stuff as of late. Very disappointing.
Bmore on April 28, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Orrrr……. He is exposing who he truly is. Which many of us have been warning about for months

Brock Robamney on April 29, 2014 at 5:40 AM

Before Obama Care 85% were satisfied with their health care and no one was refused at an ER. 15% were without health care, street people and many of the young adults who could care less but we had this monstrosity 2800 page health care Law jammed down our throats by a 100% congressional vote by the Democrats. the whole law is a joke and all it was supposed to do is heavily tax the public, it was not about health care at all and the exemptions proved this. Now add 16,000 IRS agents to Obama’s army that will enforce this idiotic law. The lies coming out of the WH about the enrollment change daily yet the only people aware of this are not the uneducated public.

mixplix on April 29, 2014 at 6:38 AM

Either way Rand is doing some serious unforced error stuff as of late. Very disappointing.
Bmore on April 28, 2014 at 11:05 PM

It’s becoming quite evident to me that unless one has an explicitly Biblical worldview, they will eventually capitulate to the Humanists. Cruz has an explicitly Biblical worldview. For now.

Cleombrotus on April 29, 2014 at 6:53 AM

“I think one of the practical things you might be able to do, and I think the public at large might accept this, is to make ObamaCare voluntary.”

The worst part of obamacare is not the purchase mandate but having federal bureaucrats in control of insurance which gives them the power to determine which treatments insurance will cover. Unless you are independently wealthy this means the bureaucrats will tell you which treatments you will be able to get.

You can appeal of course but don’t expect the HHS bureaucrats to act any faster than those at the VA where they have a backlog of quarter of a million appeals and the expected wait time for resolution is 3 or 4 years. If you need treatment for a serious medical condition You will probably die first, which is probably the plan.

Nomas on April 29, 2014 at 7:47 AM

Strike one Senator Paul.

casaler on April 29, 2014 at 9:12 AM

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